Safety measures among school districts aim to protect students - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Safety measures among school districts aim to protect students

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The New York Times took a closer look at school shootings. Their data show that more than 400 people have been injured in more than 200 shootings since the attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. With numbers like that, it's hard to continue asking if a school shooting can happen close to home. School systems now have to ask: Are they ready when a school shooting happens?

Kulr-8 reached out to school districts in and around Billings to find out what security measures are being implemented.

Eileen Johnson Middle School does not let strangers in without being buzzed in. Principal Gordon Klasna of Eileen Johnson Middle School said the school is always thinking about safety.

"I think this probably heightens some awareness, but fortunately, I feel like our community and the area around Billings are always on the lookout for stuff because we do want all of our students to be safe," Klasna said.

In May, voters in Lockwood will decide on whether or not to move forward with a school bond to build a new high school. Board members of Lockwood School District have been working alongside the architects to make sure the school is safe.

"Safety and security is a high priority for our community, for our school, and the architects are aware of that as well and in the discussions, we've talked about how we would like entrances set up so that they can be secure," Klasna said.

Klasna said the school district does not want to take any risks. He said they recognize that it's better to design security into a new building, rather than retro-fit security after the fact.

KULR-8 also spoke with Superintendent Justin Klebe from Elder Grove School. He said on top of school drills and lockdown protocols, the school district has a group of teachers whose primary job is to team up with outside agencies and come up with crisis management plans.

Laurel Superintendent Linda Filpula said all elementary and middle schools there have locked doors that only open when visitors are buzzed in. They also have security cameras. However, Laurel High School does not have locked doors. Instead, the high school has a resource officer on site for everyone's safety.

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